Sunday, 16 May 2010


Gittins- A family is a group of persons directly linked by kin connections, the adult members of which assume responsibility for the children.

Beechey 1977- argues that housewives perform major functions for capitalism e.g. providing free care for current and future male workers and being a cheap reserve army of labour.

Zaretsky= claimed that as an area of personal freedom and release, the family helps to support capitalism although often at the expense of greater oppression of women.

MARX=Linked the emergence of modern nuclear household and exploited housewife role to the development of capitalism.

Margaret Benston- Marxist feminist= family supports capitalism, men and the workforce within capitalism and women support men and reproduce the labour force. Sees family negatively.

Fran Ansley- women are the shit takers! (she s a Marxist feminist) women endure the frustration men exert when they return home.

David Cooper- Marxist= has negative view of the family. Family teaches children to conform and be a submissive workforce.

Christine Delphy – radical feminist= men benefit most from the exploitation of women. Women not only have to look after the children but also elderly parents.

Laura Purdy= questions how the media claim women can have it all- not true in the current climate. Women will be liberated when they stop having children- baby strike!

Germaine Greer= radical feminist= women’s responsibilities as mothers is a source of oppression. Women have an unequal position as wives as they always have to look after their husband; her job is to satisfy him. Best bet for women is segregation.

Jennifer Somerville- liberal feminist= There has been progress made by women. We now have great freedom and choice. Men do not take on full share of household chores. However, women need men hence high rate of remarriage.

Duncombe and Marsden 1995 = women do the triple shift

Barrett and McIntosh suggest that the nuclear family are an ideological instrument. Everyone aspires to construct the nuclear family thus it is insinuated that no other family types are as good. This allows stereotyping.

Philip Aries= Childhood is a social construct e.g. five years olds used to go to school armed and 10 year olds were sexually active.

Michael Anderson= Lancashire textile area has extended family households- common in working class communities.

Young and Wilmott- Bethnal Green in the 50s, many working class families relied on extended families for support.

Laslett 1972= Argues that the Industrial Revolution did not bring about nuclear families. He claims these were in existence before because of the late age of marrying and people’s short life expectancy. Laslett argues that the average age of the family in Western Europe has stayed constant over the period of industrialization at 4.75 persons. He said one reason why people made mistakes about this is because they counted other people living in the household e.g. slaves/ servants/ non family members. The average size of the household has therefore decreased, not the family.

Fletcher- nuclear family was geographically mobile and a stronger family unit.

Michael Anderson= 1851 Preston Census records at the centre of the cotton industry found that quarter of all households were extended family networks.

Oakley= argues that women moved from being equal partners when the family was a pre industrial unit of production, to being increasingly constricted and confined to the home by industrialization and factory legislation.

Hall- women and men operated in separate spheres.

O Day 1983 argues that women and men’s role before was quite separate.

Hareavan- extended family network can be functional for an industrial society as work opportunities can be found through relatives and a network of kin can be the basis for a stable relationship.

Sorokin- one of the first sociologists to make a connection between urban life, modern industry and a smaller family unit.

Parsons- family has two functions primary socialization and stabilization of adult personalities.

Murdock- 1949 a functionalist talks about 250 societies where there are some similar family characteristics= sexual reproductive, economic and educational.

Ronald Fletcher or Muncie et al= Family have four functions- reproductive, sexual, economic and educative.

O Connell= talks about emotional support the family should give and how the family have a central role in education and socialization and care of children.

Gough- studied the Nayar tribes in India = paternity of the child was not relevant. Males made little economic contribution to the family. Siblings played a bigger role in this.

Gittins- divorce was an expensive luxury in 1857

Plummer argues that same sex couples don’t tend to last because of social disapproval making it difficult to meet potential partners

Burghes and Roberts 1995 argue that the media and politicians have generated the rise of single parents into a moral panic.

Gittins and Barrett and Mcintosk celebrate the diversity of family structures on modern society.

Eversley and Bannerjea 1982 = different patterns of family life can be found in certain parts of England. Many southern coastal regions have large numbers of retired couples and single households. Two parent families are more commonly found in the south east while inner city areas tend to have high levels of single parents and ethnic minorities. Strong kinship networks are maintained in rural areas.

Young and Wilmott = wrote book called the symmetrical family- balance between the roles of males and females inside the family.

Ann Oakley- disagrees = claims that 72 per cent of husbands help their wife in some domestic way and this was a loose term.

Stephen Edgell agrees with Oakley that the patriarchal family still exists.

In 1995 the UN women’s conference was held. It was proved that women still do two thirds of the world’s work, earn one tenth of the world’s income and own one hundredth of the world’s property. There are twice as many illiterate women in the world compared to men.

Linda Nicholson 1997 Feminist = alternatives to the nuclear are looked at as unworthy when in actual fact they can suit different women from different circumstances. All types of families should be acknowledged and accepted.

Cheshire Calhoun= nuclear family discriminates against homosexuals. They are just as much a family as any other sort.

Robert Chester- co habitation is temporary phase not an alternative to marriage

Mary Boulton- feminist= Although men have begun to help with some household tasks, women are still responsible for children.

Robert and Rhona Rapoport= 1982 Family diversity should be accepted as only approx 20% are nuclear families.

Elsa Ferri and Katie Smith 1996 feminists= found that working class men are more likely to make a contribution to childcare than middle class men.

Jonathan Gershuny= 1999 – found that women do at least 60% or in excess of housework but men are doing more.

Jean Duncombe and Dennis Marsden 1995- found that women do the triple shift.

Gillian Dunne- 1999 claimed it was more symmetrical in homosexual couples with no one partner being dominant.

Nicky Hart feminist= argues divorce is increasing because of the ease of getting it, marriage isn’t properly valued any more

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